Oldest living Aggie celebrates 102nd birthday
Mike Dillingham served in WWII, still attends football games
Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 22:02
Escorted in a limo and greeted by a saber arch, Mike Dillingham, the oldest living Aggie, appeared in style Tuesday at his 102nd birthday at the Carriage Inn in Bryan.
Dillingham enrolled in Texas A&M in 1931, the same year Reveille I was adopted. He played baseball for the team that won the Southwest Conference Championship. Dillingham graduated in 1935 with a degree in petroleum engineering.
Dillingham said the increase in the student body is the biggest change on campus since his graduation. When he attended there were around 3,000 students — today there are more than 50,000.
“It’s so much larger,” Dillingham said. “It’s because of the girls. When I went there, girls didn’t. When the girls hit the University, everyone came flocking to A&M. They made it better.”
Dillingham pursued a career in the oil industry and later fought in World War II.
“You have to speak to him a little louder now,” said Julia McCravey, activities director for Carriage Inn retirement center in Bryan. “But he’s a very nice man and that’s what makes him unique.”
Dillingham and his wife Georgia live at the Carriage Inn and still watch all the Aggie games when they can. Dillingham has held season tickets for the same section in Kyle Field since 1967.
He and his wife have provided multiple scholarships, including two that benefit members of the Corps of Cadets.
“You’re a part of something big,” said Dillingham, in a previous interview with The Battalion. “And why not participate? It’s here for you. Why come here, graduate and take off? Stay in contact with A&M. You need them and they need you. I can’t see not participating with A&M. I think that’s one of the ways A&M survives. It’s the Aggie spirit.”